Bob Coggin


Red Angle
Red Angle

Employee Spotlight


Finding his Passion

Bob jokes he got into the staffing industry by accident. After serving in the Navy as a nuclear operator, Bob’s first job did not meet his expectations. He ended up putting his resume out there and he was invited to an interview by what turned out to be a staffing company. That was his first job in staffing. Bob knew of headhunters that found people jobs but he wasn’t aware at the time of staffing companies that specialized in particular industries like power and energy. “And, well, here I am 16 plus years later and obviously I love it. I’ve made a career out of it, which was never really my goal early on. I didn’t realize that I would make a career out of it, but it is something that I am passionate about and continue to be passionate about. I’ve seen a lot of changes in the industry over that time and how that has impacted the staffing side of things and how we’ve had to reshape our approach and modify our focus to keep ahead of these changes and trends and still remain successful in putting quality people out to work.”

Overcoming Challenges

Bob’s biggest challenge? “This may be funny to hear, but I’m actually a bit of an introvert, and somehow, I ended up in a career that requires me to be very extroverted. I think for me personally that’s probably been one of my biggest professional challenges; that I’ve had to learn to overcome and be more of an extrovert.”

Over time Bob has been able to realize his inner extrovert. Working in a business-like staffing that is built on meeting people and building relationships, he has made conscious efforts to be more outgoing, strike up conversations with strangers, and really listen and get to know people. Being more extroverted has become second nature to him and something he’s gotten very good at.

“It’s part of what we do as an organization, as a team, and as individuals when we’re out there, we have to have that forward thinking attitude and be able to strike up a conversation and really get to know people. It’s a business built on relationships. So, I think for me personally, that was just one of the biggest things that I had to learn to overcome.”

Another challenge he’s felt he has in his career is from a technical perspective. “I’ve had to learn a lot more beyond what I initially knew from a technical perspective. A lot of that came from working out in the field and learning as much as I possibly could about this business. Knowledge is power and the more that we know about the industry we serve, the better off we’ll be.”


A Job Well Done

Bob’s proudest accomplishment? “I’ve been fortunate to have a number of things I would consider significant accomplishments or achievements over the course of my career, both while I was in the military and afterwards in my civilian career, post Navy. I think one of the biggest things that always sticks with me is getting into the Navy nuclear program and completing that program and going out to the fleet as a nuclear trained operator for the Navy’s carrier assets. To me that was a huge accomplishment personally in my life, also professionally as it laid the foundation for my career path to follow. That was a huge step in my life. It was extremely challenging; a very tough program and I went into it really not knowing that much about it to begin with. So, to have been able to rise to that challenge and make it through that tough school and emerge successful and accomplishing that is something I will always look back on with a sense of pride.”

“I’m also really proud of some successes that I’ve had in the recruiting field, some that I’ve had as a recruiter or working within a staffing company. More recently one of the things that I’m most proud of is the new APS Staffing program. The way that it’s coming together and being able to put the pieces together from scratch and develop this unique, value added asset within this organization that is not only going to propel our success forward but also maintain and foster a much more robust means of taking care of our current and future employees. “I’m really proud of what our team has accomplished with this so far. I am looking forward to the future and what’s to come from it over the next couple of years and beyond.”

Significant Contribution

While Bob says he has been fortunate to have a number of accomplishments in both his Navy and civilian careers, he shares two significant contributions he is very proud of.

The first being during his seagoing time in the Navy. As a senior reactor technician on his assigned carrier, he and his crew experienced a system malfunction during the routine testing of the automatic trip protection that prevented the ship from returning to port. He gathered a team, they opened up the tech manuals and the schematics, and in a short period of time they were able to troubleshoot this issue down to an outdated transistor that had been overlooked by a recent hardware update. “This one component had been considered an unnecessary piece of hardware left in the circuits. So, we ended up removing those transistors from a series of cards within the cabinet and retested the system and everything was fine.”

The second contribution he was most proud of was an accomplishment in a previous role where he singlehandedly developed a new division focused entirely on EPU (extended power uprate) nuclear work. “I was in charge of everything from recruiting and sales to marketing, you name it. I developed this nuclear group subdivision into 33% of the company’s total revenue share.”

Why APS?

“When it was time for me to make a career change, I had a few options in front of me and some of them were pretty good. But there was one thing about APS that I just felt and that was the company philosophy and the overall company attitude and structure. It really resonated with my own personal and professional beliefs and ways of working and operating in this industry.

I feel that APS takes a very dedicated approach to its employees. We value our employees tremendously. Without them, and that means our field employees and our in-house employees, we have no company. We have to always remember that at the end of the day these are people, not only sources of revenue. The revenue is secondary to the fact that these are people with families and lives, and we should respect that. I believe that APS upholds that philosophy. Our company motto is “investing in people”.

The year and a half that I’ve been here, they have invested in me. And I’m trying to reciprocate that. It’s something that I place a lot of value in, and I respect that tremendously. I’m a big fan of that and I support that 100%. I try to carry that forward in my dealings with our field guys. That is definitely a big part of my focus; that employee-centric type of mentality.

It really is just a very awesome, great group of people to work with and to work for. I mean I honestly couldn’t be happier. I came into this not really knowing anybody. I walked into a company full of strangers and a little time later I’ve got a company full of friends and family that I feel has my back as much as I have theirs. We get through good times and hard times together. So, it’s all good. I love it.”

A Fun Fact

In addition to being the Staffing Manager and recruiting at APS Bob keeps his creative spark alive. He is also a drummer, photographer, and filmmaker.

“I’ve been a drummer since I was like three years old. I started pulling the pots and pans out from underneath my grandmother’s cabinet and banging on them like they were a drum set,” he says, reflecting on his lifelong passion for music.

Filmmaking came later, sparked by a need for video content for his band. “I could hire someone,” he recalls, “but I decided to grab a camera and learn myself.”  This turned into a full-fledged side hustle, even leading to a feature film! “It’s not Hollywood,” Bob admits, “but I wrote, produced, and shot the entire thing. Two years of nights and weekends, but totally worth it.”


Advice for Newcomers

“This is advice that I would give anyone that’s a newcomer to this industry or somebody that’s been doing it for 10 years or more, always seek to better your knowledge, and constantly be absorbing new information about the industry. Knowledge is incredibly powerful and being able to have a much deeper understanding of the industry, the specific types of plants, the technologies, and the ways of operating them, it’s so extremely valuable. It not only sets you apart as a recruiter or a staffing agent or a sales guy or account manager, but it supports the company’s objectives. It gives the company itself more credibility when the people that interact with your organization can trust in the fact that the people behind the scenes, the people that are running this organization really know what they’re talking about.

I don’t mean learning from a quick Google search. I mean really get into it and understand, the concepts and the theories behind it, and be able to talk intelligently about that. I can’t stress that enough. This knowledge will allow you to be able to look at someone’s resume and be able to read between the lines of what it is that they put on that paper and truly understand what that person’s capabilities are. So, you can call that person and talk to them about things they didn’t actually put on their resume, but that you were able to deduce that information from what they did write. When that happens and you’re able to do that, it really knocks their socks off. Because most of the recruiters out there that call people for jobs, they do a basic keyword search.

The best advice I can give is to be ready to work hard and be available for things when they happen. This is not an easy industry to work in. It’s not for the faint of heart, but the ones that can stick with it and be successful, it pays off in dividends, but having that foundational understanding and knowledge is absolutely crucial.”

Thank you, Bob, for your dedication and expertise!